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Flivver football

Road test Friday at Cedar Grove

August 30, 2012
By BURT ANGELI - Sports Writer , The Daily News

KINGSFORD - Kingsford will look for another solid defensive performance in Friday's trip to face Alex Giles and the Cedar Grove (Wis.) Rockets.

The Flivvers opened the season with a 42-6 decision over Lakeland, Wis., which managed just a couple big plays and one second-half first down. The T-Birds produced 107 yards total offense.

"At times we did some really good things in the game," Kingsford Coach Chris Hofer said. "We definitely made some big plays but there's a lot of stuff we can do better.

Article Photos

Kingsford's Brett Michaud breaks loose against Lakeland.

"But who doesn't after the first game."

Reed Larson (156 yards rushing, 3 scores) and Aidan Wienke (pass interception, blocked punt) made the biggest plays and earned Flivver of the Week from the coaching staff.

"They were more physical than we were and they just wore us down," Lakeland Coach Mike Mestelle told the Lakeland Times. "It was hard for us to match that physicality."

Lakeland's score came on Tom Bruckner's third-down run up the middle for 70 yards. Mestelle thought Kingsford was "bringing a lot of guys off the edge on third down."

Hofer agreed with Mestelle's analysis

"I think that's what happened," Hofer said. "We kind of ran by them, he snuck it in there and we had nobody left. That's pretty much what is was."

Cedar Grove features running back Alex Giles, who has heard from Big Ten Conference schools Minnesota and Indiana.

Giles (5-9, 175), who rushed for over 1,500 yards last season, was checked to 72 on 18 carries in the Rockets' season-opening 20-15 loss to Manitowoc Lutheran.

"He's the real deal, a real explosive kid with a lot of long runs to his credit," Hofer said. "We have to bottle him up and tackle because he doesn't go down that easily.

"He's definitely a big play kid."

Cedar Grove will function out of shotgun or Giles in I formation. Giles grabbed a 52-yard pass and also scored on a five-yard run against Manitowoc Lutheran.

"You have to know where he's at because he's definitely a game breaker," Hofer said. "He'll be one of the fastest kids on the field and he's enough speed to hit the home run."

Cedar Grove Coach Chris Zablocki, son of Kingsford resident Al Zablocki, says Giles has "football smarts and outworks everyone."

"Alex is an exceptional young man," Zablocki told the Sheboygan Times.

Cedar Grove rallied from a 14-0 deficit to lead 15-14 in the third quarter.

"Cedar Grove is a pretty good football team and they lost to a good team," Hofer said, "They don't do a lot of things defensively but they're sound."

NOTES: The Flivvers and Rockets kick off at 7 p.m. ... Kingsford converted just 4 of 15 third-down plays against Lakeland ... Caleb Bray was named Blocker of the Week ... Wienke registered 15 defensive points and Larson had 10 according to the Flivver defensive charts. Connor Berndt, Sean Ryan and Wienke each made six tackles.

Newberry (1-0, 0-0) at North Dickinson (1-0, 0-0), Mid-Eastern, 6 p.m. - Coach Joe Reddinger's Nordics will be out to stop an Indians' rushing attack that pounded Rudyard for 267 yards. Mike Ash led Newberry with 145 yards and two scores in the 34-6 decision.

"We knew we were going to put it to them," Ash told The Evening News. "They blocked their butts off. The holes were as wide as you could possibly hope for. I'm happy. I can not wait until next week (against North Dickinson)."

Rudyard, with Norway grad Matt Johnson in his coaching debut, operated with a single-wing offense for some of the first-half plays.

"It's the first time in decades that Ken Hofer isn't coaching in Menominee, so I thought that somewhere in the U.P. the single wing should be in action," Johnson said. "Really from a matchup, X's and O's point of view, it was there, we just physically didn't execute."

Tim Hruska's 165 yards rushing and two scores boosted the Nordics past Florence in the season opener.



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